Trailer Mash

Our weekly survey of opening movies judged solely on their previews

Emily Blunt, Jason Segel … if you're in a relationship you're probably all double downed on The Five-Year Engagement already. Here is its perfectly undemanding, good-natured trailer, utterly self-satisfied by charming gags such as: "This is supposed to be exciting. It's your wedding. You only get a few of these." Ha ha. Actually, the finest thing about this trailer is the top comment on its YouTube page, "She took an arrow to the knee before it was cool," a Skyrim gag that serves as a reminder of how all our lives are knotted in the very collective meta-textuality Carl Jung almost predicted.

According to Brits who've seen it, The Pirates! Band of Misfits is a very satisfying way to pass time in the company of your kids. The trailer is an abomination. It's almost as if Sony had no confidence in the fortunes of a stop-motion modeling-clay movie and chose to overcompensate with an endless string of disproportionately irritating poke-you-in-the-eye 3-D moments. Ignore the trailer, trust the Brits.

Inevitably and deservedly, the "Toughest Cop in New York" crown has finally been bestowed on Jason Statham. When a young Asian girl is in danger from every cop and gangster in the city, who better fitted to protect her than the Transporter himself? Safe as, you will no doubt discover, houses.

The always, er, interesting John Cusack is apparently Edgar Allan Poe in The Raven, a movie that subjects America's Ur Goth to mysterious circumstances that are the plots of his own stories. Brit blonde-for-hire Alice Eve provides female ballast in a trailer not entirely enhanced by a soundtrack that endures constant invasion by chord stabs from Hans Zimmer's score for Pirates of the Caribbean. NB: IMDB says there are seven new Poe adaptations on the dark horizons, so this is just the beginning.

Looking for a new Robin Williams black comedy? Jack Black just made it for you, only he is Robin Williams now. Richard Linklater, always good value, directs Bernie, the quirky tale of a real-life small-town homicide that ultimately provided lovely acting opportunities for dear old Shirley MacLaine and Matt McConaughey, alongside Robin. Jack, rather.

Were it not for the contemporary cast that includes Jenna Fischer and Topher Grace, The Giant Mechanical Man would appear to be a long-lost '80s romance of the kind that once starred the iconic Ann Magnuson. Apparently the story of a Detroit zoo worker who falls for a stilt-walking street performer covered in blue paint, you can practically smell the videotape. For this reason alone it is to be commended but there is also good evidence of a sharp script, and probably some affecting subtext about the decline of the auto industry.

In 1966, Booker Wright, a guy who waited tables in a nightclub in Mississippi, appeared in an NBC documentary and explained what it was like to be black in the south in the '60s. This did not work out so well for him. In Booker's Place, the son of Frank De Feletta, who made the NBC film, returns to his father's work, while Booker's granddaughter returns to Booker's Place. No trailer can do justice to what is evidently far more than a black-and-white story, but it can urge you to see it and learn what you will.

It is axiomatic that when a lorry rams a police car off a cliff and you see a good part of it from the POV of the crook locked up in the back seat, you are in for a good time. Headhunters is a film based on a novel by Jo Nesbø, a Nordic Noir-iste of some repute. This brilliantly efficient trailer is a very good short film all by itself but is evidently only the part of the iceberg that you can see. Catch it and smile knowingly before an overrated American director of commercials screws up the Hollywood version.